Gluten-Free Italian Pignoli Cookies

Gluten-Free Italian Pignoli Cookies

A pignolo is a macaroon typical of Sicily, Italy. It is a very popular cookie in all of Southern Italy and in Sicilian communities in the United States. This crispy on the bottom and chewy on the inside gluten-free cookie recipe is a twist on a traditional Italian holiday treat, pignoli, or pine nut cookies. Made with almond paste, a mixture of ground almonds and sugar. Cookies can be stacked in an airtight container with parchment separating each layer.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 24 persons



  1. Step 1

    Set oven racks in the center and lower third and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place pine nuts in a bowl.
  2. Step 2

    Beat almond paste, cane sugar, and confectioners' sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until crumbly. Add egg whites and vanilla; beat on medium speed until a smooth paste forms, 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour and salt and beat until combined; dough will be very tacky.
  3. Step 3

    Scoop 1 tablespoon dough and use damp hands to drop it into the pine nuts, coating one side. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet with the nuts facing up. Repeat to form remaining cookies.
  4. Step 4

    Bake cookies in the preheated oven, rotating halfway through, until the edges are golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for briefly before removing to a wire rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Dust cooled cookies with confectioners' sugar.